Its Wednesday. Is it really the occasion for cupcakes? If you ask me, yes. Why? Well, my answer is simple. Its 2020. I think we deserve it. Why wait for a birthday or holiday to make cupcakes when you can make them today for someone you love? Guys, things are rough. Covid is running rampant through a lot of the world and even here in Nova Scotia, where we have been in a bubble with no cases for most of the pandemic, we’re starting to hit a second wave. Sure, our cases are low, but now we have community spread and have to be careful leaving the house. So, cupcakes. Specifically apple cider cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream and brown sugar caramel drizzle.
Are these really that good?
YES. Perfect for fall, American thanksgiving, or literally any occasion. You’re going to love em! Definitely pull out all the stops with the drizzle and apple garnish if you really want to impress. Bonus points if you serve a hot drink on the side!
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a mixing bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract and apple sauce. Stir until combined. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Mix to form a batter.
Divide batter into muffin cups.
Bake for 5 minutes, then, without opening the oven door, lower heat to 350 F and bake another 12-13 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely. See note for why we do this :).
Meanwhile, in a small pot on the stove, combine brown sugar and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Reserve 2-3 tbsp in a small bowl, set aside, for the drizzle. Cool the rest of the mixture in the fridge or freezer for 5-10 minutes.
Add the sugar mixer to a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the vegan butter, vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until creamy and fluffy.
Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes. Add a a light drizzle of caramel onto each and garnish with a slice of apple (see note).
You bake at a high temperature to get the cupcakes to lift quickly, then finish at a lower temperature to bake without burning. This is the way to get puffed, rounded cupcakes without eggs :).
Only garnish with the apple slices right before serving, or they will get brown.
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